Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Movie Remixes

I've seen these a few times on You Tube, but I thought I would post them because they're just so darned funny. I wish I could cut movie trailers. You can literally, through music and cuts, make any movie into a different genre. The Shining as a romantic comedy? Mary Poppins into a horror? Top Gun as the next Brokeback? LOL You decide.


Thursday Thirteen #27 - 13 Reasons to Buy Mistletoe Magic This Holiday Season

In honor of MISTLETOE MAGIC, currently my only Christmas romance available, I've decided to "pimp" it here on my T-13. Here we go!

1.) As stated, this is currently my one and only Christmas romance available.

2.) It takes place in my stomping grounds, good ol' Portland, Oregon, baby!

3.) My novella in this project, entitled UNDERNEATH THE MISTLETOE, was once nominated for "Best Novella in an Anthology 2005" at the RIO Awards.

4.) Jeremy Kitteridge, the hero, is one of the most adorable men I've ever written.

5.) Jeremy's last name is one of Becka's real life family names from back in the day.

6.) Jeremy dresses up like Santa for the kids. Aww...

7.) This book is available in eBook AND print, and is even on! :D

8.) It will get you in the mood for Christmas if you're not feelin' it this year.

9.) You've read all my other books, but never this one, because it wasn't Christmas time. Well guess what? :)

10.) If you've NEVER read any of my books, this is an excellent one to start with, since MY contribution is only a novella, and it's in an anthology with two other authors you may or may not have heard of. Broaden your reading horizons!

11.) It's a straight contemporary romance, with no shifters, vampires, magic (despite the title), menages, or manlove.

12.) Yes, I said manlove.

13.) Paul Walker.

Okay, so #13 was contrived. But it woke ya up, didnit? :P

Happy T-13!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Proud to be an American

After reading so many current events in our news recently, I've come to realize that we in America sometimes take our rights and privileges for granted.

Freedom of speech, for instance, to name a teddy bear any damn name we want to.

Our right to meet with men in public who are not relatives, and if we do happen to get gang raped along the way, we're not "blamed" for it -- and then flogged and jailed.

Good Lord. What the heck is wrong with the world today?

Sure, America has it's fair share of heinous and unforgivable crimes. But when it comes to our rights as citizens, we can take them for granted. Regardless of what you think of our president, the war in Iraq, or the state of things here at home, we Americans really do have it good. Our women don't have to dress from head to toe in black robes. We're not whipped or caned upon being punished by the court. Our women can VOTE and heck, campaign to become the leader of this country, or even be one of the richest women in the world. Our women can drive and talk to any stranger she likes. We're allowed to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster if we so desire.

Yessiree, I'm proud to be an American, and regardless of their questionable life practices, I would kiss the Founding Fathers if I could.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Did Y'all Survive Thanksgiving?

Here it is, week after Thanksgiving, and I'm just "thankful" it's all over with. Is that horrid of me? You know, I do so love the holidays at the end of the year, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The holiday trifecta. However, there does come a time when the "fun" becomes too much and you just want your life to go back to normal. I reached that point yesterday. LOL

We had fun at my sister's house on the big day, and on Black Friday, we went out and chopped down our Christmas tree. Pics can be seen on my hubby's Flickr page:

Christmas tree farm/decoration pictures

As you can see, our tree is red and silver this year. It looks really great, even though our four children oversaw the entire decorating process. I hung a few small balls on the top while DH planted the angel on the tip. All the rest (aside from the lights) our children did. :) Our tree was 9 feet tall and had to be cut from a much taller Noble Fir. You see, DH and I love the Nobles, in part because they LAST the entire Christmas season, and also because their branches allow your ornaments room to dangle. A lot of other firs, the ornaments "rest" on the needles, and that's no bueno. So the Nobles this year were EPIC in size, and the farmer told us to go ahead and lob them off wherever we wanted the height to be. So the part we cut off, (9 feet of tree) was about 4 feet up the trunk! In all, the tree we chose was probably about 13 feet from the ground to the top, as the crow flies. Yup, epic, I tell ya.

Did you know that something like 40% of the country's Christmas trees come from Oregon? So the next time you're buying a tree from your local tree stand... Perhaps it's from the Pacific Northwest.

But there's nothing quite like chopping down your own. The farm we go to does a few things for us. First, if you bought their tree stand from years past, they will give you a free bale for you (which ties up the tree in a thread of plastic twine), and before they bale it, they will shake it on a machine (to get all the dead needles off). That's kinda funny to watch. lol Then, after the tree is baled, they mount it on their base, which has a spike that goes up into the trunk of the tree. This is extremely handy, because all you do is take your tree home, stand it where you want it to go, cut the baling twine, and voila, your tree is perfectly placed and standing straight up and down.

Not only that, but they give you free hot apple cider and hot chocolate along with candy canes. If you want, they also sell wreaths made with real pine branches. So totally cool. It's a little bit of a drive, but it's tradition in the Goings family to go out day after Thanksgiving and start the Christmas season off right. :D

Besides, picking your tree from a "forest" and chopping it down is much more fun that picking it out of a parking lot line up. LOL Of course, I don't do any of the work, so that could be why I like it so... hehehe

If any of you is wondering who that dog is in our pictures, no, she's not our dog. Her name is Reba, and she's the farm's dog, allowed to roam wherever she may go. She was a sweetheart. :)


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dammit! I Already Used the "Baked" Pun...

"You brought buns and you did not tell me?!?"

Okay, folks, seriously, if you know the movie from whence the above quote came, you get 1,000 Becka points -- and some respect.

But aside from the "punny" movie quote, I'm blogging about food. More specifically, baking said food. You see, the fam and I are going to Salem on Thanksgiving, to my sister's house. Because my sister hates me for some reason, DH and I have always had to bring our own pecan pie. Oh, pumpkin and apple make it to the table, but never the pecan. Favorite. Pie. Evar.

Seriously folks, apple? APPLE?? Who the heck eats apple pie on Thanksgiving? Sure, it's an American pie on an American holiday yadda yadda. But traditional Thanksgiving fare has always been the double p's - the P-Squared if you will. P/P? No, that's just fricken' wrong.

PUMPKIN and PECAN people, pumpkin and pecan. What do I gotta do to get some pecan action on my holiday? I've got to make it myself, that's what I gotta do. So tomorrow, I am making a pecan pie from scratch with homemade flaky crust (yum).

Aside from the pecan pie snafu, my family never has any whipped cream on hand. NEVAR. What the heck? You have a bajillion APPLE pies on Thanksgiving, at least you can have some %$*@# Cool Whip! Therefore, I bought 6 extra tubs of the stuff (there will be a lot of people there who love pie with their Cool Whip). So, that's covered.

But get this. There is one member of my sister's extended family who loves to bring deviled eggs to any pot-luck gathering. Right on, right? Well, we ALWAYS run out. I don't know what it is about my family, but a plateful of deviled eggs gets devoured within about 5 minutes from appearing, with the plate licked clean enough to be placed back within the cupboard.

Therefore, I'm making a "back-up" stash. I even asked my sister if her sister-in-law would be "offended" or "saddened" that I stepped on her toes, sorta speak, because SHE'S the one always bringing the eggs. I say girlfriend better buy another couple dozen eggs if she doesn't want anyone encroaching on her territory. LOL "Deviled Eggs To Feed Them All..."

On top of all THAT, I've got to make rolls for 20 people. Well, 15 adults and 5 small kids. Assuming the small kids will only eat one roll, if I make enough for each adult to have at least two (better safe than sorry), we're talking 35 rolls. That's about three batches of rolls, homemade. My sister didn't have this covered, if you can believe it. What kind of Thanksgiving FEAST is it without the rolls? I mean, even if you don't eat them all during the dinner, or even if they don't get passed around at all... Uhm... Leftovers? You know, those yummy little turkey/stuffing/cranberry sauce sammiches you make around 7pm?

So yeah, I decided if I was going to be responsible for bringing stuff, I'd at least homemake them. I could have bought rolls at the store or a pecan pie, even. But even with all the strange idiosyncrasies my family's got, I still love 'em, the big lugs. And let's face it. It's not like I can trade them in for upgrades.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Until we meet again after the holiday weekend!

(or during, because we're going to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving *tradition in our family - we cut down our own from a tree farm* and I might have something cool to blog about our tree).

Dear Lord. The kids just went trick-or-treating and now we're getting a CHRISTMAS TREE?!? One of these days, I'm going to wake up and be 80 years old and think to myself, "Life comes at you fast..."



Saturday, November 17, 2007

A "Regal" Pain in the Neck

I just wrote Regal Cinemas Corporate a nasty-gram.

Maybe not as scathing as I would have LIKED to have written, but I wrote them a letter nonetheless. Why? Well, DH and I took the kids to see Fred Claus today, which surprisingly, was a good movie. You know you're a sap when a movie like "Fred Claus" can make you cry. lol

Anyhow, my crying is not the point. I'll let my nasty-gram tell you the story. And I'll keep you updated if/when Regal Cinemas ever get in touch with me regarding this issue. Believe me, I left them with my address, my email, and my phone number, so they better damn well get back to me. I don't necessarily care about "compensation", (ie, free movie tickets or whatever), but just acknowledgment that SOMETHING will be done about this matter.

Without further adieu:

I took my family to see "Fred Claus" Saturday Nov. 17th. After watching the movie, myself and my two young daughters, aged 8 & 7, had to use the restroom. Upon entering one of the stalls, I found no toilet paper. I went to another stall, and there was no toilet paper in there either. In the FIFTH stall I checked, there was half a roll left, and at this point, I was highly frustrated. My oldest daughter had finished and was washing her hands while my younger daughter mentioned there was no paper in her stall. This was stall #5 without toilet paper, as the first four I'd checked didn't either. When I was finished, I handed her some toilet paper under the door. I asked my older daughter if there had been toilet paper in her stall. She said no, she just did her business without wiping. That would be stall #6 without toilet paper. After experiencing such shock at the lack of toilet paper, I heard a stranger in a stall I hadn't checked ALSO lament that there was no paper in HER stall. #7.

I wanted to check the other stalls, but by this time, I was so upset that I went to find a manager. His excuse? They knew they were out of toilet paper and they had someone going to another "location" to pick up more.

My husband was upset as well, mentioning they should put up a sign on the empty stalls, and the manager looked at him as if he'd never thought of that solution, and said, "Good idea."

This appalled me, mainly because it was Saturday morning, and if Friday night had been so busy, then you'd think the cleaning staff Friday night would have seen there was no toilet paper for the morning. And not only that, there was a SPECIAL EVENT going on at this theater this morning, that included some "fun time" for the kids in lieu of the release of the "Magic Emporium" movie, with a miniature bounce house and some kiddie bowling, not to mention two Marines in full dress uniform handing out raffle tickets. Imagine my disdain in knowing this theater was so poorly maintained that NO ONE on the night shift even THOUGHT to go to this "other location" and obtain the toilet paper before the event the next morning.

I wouldn't have been so angry if it had just been one or two stalls that had been out of toilet paper. But SEVEN stalls (that I know of), out of about twenty stalls, without toilet paper is unacceptable, especially when my young daughters cannot go to the restroom without soiling themselves. Thank goodness they didn't have diarrhea! I shudder to think of what poor woman did her business only to find she could not cleanse herself. It is not only unprofessional, but unsanitary, and even though we complained to the management, I felt they did not handle the situation in the manner it should have been handled. There is a huge grocery store right across the street--they could have bought ANYTHING just to have SOMETHING on hand while waiting on a toilet paper delivery from another location. If an employee had done that, I might be writing you a letter of praise instead of one of complaint. Having toilet paper is more than a courtesy, it is customer service, and if Regal et al. wants my family and all my friends to continue going to that theater, I expect there to at least be toilet paper in every stall, so that my children can go to the bathroom and not have to worry about soiling their panties.




Friday, November 16, 2007

Becka's Man of Hotties' Past & Book Chat

Today, I'm chatting with my fellow authors, Beth Williamson and Melissa Schroeder on the Samhain Cafe Yahoo Loop. We're posting excerpts and giving away free downloads today. You do NOT want to miss this chat! What are we yakking about? Our latest anthology, Leather & Lace, of which HIGH NOON is a part. :D And in honor of HIGH NOON, I thought I would give you the inspiration behind Talon, Mr. Jay Tavare.

Jay Tavare's HotW Page

Now, you might recognize Jay, not only because he was one of my previous hotties, but because he was also featured on my HotW Rewind a few months ago. Yup, this is his THIRD time being showcased here. But it's not without reason. I think Mr. Tavare is, perhaps, one of the hottest Native Americans I have EVER laid my eyes on.

Who better to choose for Talon's inspiration? :P

Enjoy the Man of Hotties' Past and come join me for some good times today!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #26 - 13 Things I Have Always Wondered...

Okay, folks, I know I haven't done a T-13 in a LOOOONG time, over a month. :( But today, I'm back and better than ever (until after Thanksgiving, because let's face it, I'm gonna be piggin' out next week. WORD!)

Aside from the fact that my newest book, HIGH NOON, an historical Western romance, has been released in eBook (it's only a novella, folks, you can read on the computer for an hour or two. :P):

/shameless plug

Here are 13 things I've always wondered about:

1.) What the hell sense does the explanation, "The grass is green because it reflects every color except green, therefore, it is green" MEAN, exactly? That's the kind of weird circular logic that ties my brain in knots, folks.

2.) Why is Native Americans' skin so much DARKER in old timey pictures than it is today? Have the Indians of today had their bloodlines "watered down" by the white man? Is it the quality of the black and white film? Or were they merely tanner than today's Native Americans because they were always outside in the sun?

3.) Before blogs, websites, podcasts, MySpace, Yahoo/Google groups & basically the Internet in general, how did authors promote their books?

4.) And on that note, how can we be such a tech-saavy society when everyone I know (who isn't married to me) barely knows how to turn on their computer?

"What did the error message say, exactly?"
"I don't know, I just clicked on "OK".

5.) Why do people get so pissed off when you bring up Jesus, but have absolutely no problem talking to you about ANY OTHER RELIGION on the planet? Even the hostile ones?

6.) Who are "they"?

7.) Further, where are these "studies", "surveys", & "statistics" posted?

8.) Who actually LICKS a Tootsie Roll Pop?

9.) Why couldn't the mucky-mucks in South Carolina pull the sticks out (if you know what I mean) and allow Stephen Colbert on the Democratic ticket? I'm tellin' you right now, I bet a WHOLE lot more people woulda voted come election day. Think about THAT, pundits.

10.) Is my favorite color rose pink or lavender purple?

11.) Why do people constantly ask me if all these kids....are mine? No, you moron, I run a Day Care and frequently take other people's kids on a "field trip" to the grocery store -- of course their all mine!! **SMACK**

12.) If we can't digest corn, then why are these corn chips making me fat?

13.) Why can't Creationists and Evolutionists come to a compromise and admit that yeah, they BOTH might be right?


There you have it. Thirteen questions I've asked myself. :P


People Magazine Reads Becka's Babble!

People Magazine has recently announced their "Sexiest Man Alive" and I'm just grinning from ear to ear. If you'll remember, I campaigned a few months ago with my Hottie of the Week to give the SMA title to the deserving Matt Damon. And they listened!

See for yourself:

People Magazine Announces Matt Damon as "Sexiest Man Alive"

In fact, I'm so tickled for Mr. Damon and his campaign to become the SMA, I was giggling like an idiot when I read the above article. Of course, my daughter then asked, "What's so funny?" I tried to explain it, but her eyes glazed over and she began to drool. Unfortunately, not the kind of "drool" one might associate with the Sexiest Man Alive.

If you read all the way to the bottom, you'll in fact see a sidenote that says:

"Many thanks to Rebecca Goings and her blog Becka's Babble for swaying the editors of People Magazine to choose Matt Damon as the Sexiest Man Alive."

(Well, not really, but that woulda been cool, eh? :)

Congratulations, Matt Damon. You've got friends in high places! :D


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Welp, The Lizard's Dead

As much as I love dragons, I have no love for the bearded ones. Yes, folks, our bearded dragon "Lizard" died this evening (or perhaps yesterday or the day before, we don't really know.)

The facts are these:

About 8 Christmases ago, DH's best friend decided it would be a good idea to give him a reptile as a gift. This idea sprang from DH's passing comment of "Lizards are cool" or some such, which somehow got construed by the best friend as "Ooo, I want a cool lizard!"

And so, on Christmas morning, as we were opening the strange trembling gift with the airholes on top, we found ourselves face to face with a brand new car! No, no, sorry. *ahem* Wrong post. :P ...a brand new bearded dragon hatchling.

Thanks. I think. :-\

Now, we were in a quandry. Forced to buy some kind of terrarium for the tyke, we obtained one from DH's mom (my memory is kinda sketchy on this, as it's been so long, but I think that's where we got it.) This monstrous-looking thing came with a huge, ugly, HEAVY base with cupboards and all. For such a small creature, you'd think their home wouldn't be quite so big. I mean, it's impossible to hide that thing.


I think people noticed the lizard first because of the huge terrariuminum instead of our other critters. But because this creature was a gift, we couldn't give it away or sell it, as that would just be plain rude, and how do you explain to your best friend that you couldn't stand the damn thing in the first place?

So the years rolled on and we moved quite a bit, all the while cussing at the lizard, the terrariummuminum, and the heavy-ass base it sits on for all the space it takes up in the moving van, not to mention our new home. Seriously. Worse than fish, folks. At least with fish, I'd want to sit and watch them for awhile. The only joy we got out of that lizard was watching him eat the occasional cricket and/or mealworm, but of course that meant *I'D* be the one going to the pet shop to buy the damned things. More than once, I've had to hold back the willies while a bag of 50 adult crickets rolls around in the front seat of my car on my way home to feed the lizard. **shudder**

We "loved" the lizard so much that we named guessed it, "Lizard". Originally, DH had named it "Dog", because we didn't have (or couldn't have) a dog at that time, and he really wanted one. But we never called it "Dog", and once we got a dog, it seemed a misnomer. We hardly ever handled the thing, so whenever you'd go to change its water, the darned thing would hiss at you.

Every year, when he'd go into hibernation, DH and I would frequently poke and prod him, wondering if he'd passed on to bask on the Giant Boulder in the Sky, but then he'd crack an eye and we'd groan, lamenting yet another year of the poor, unwanted lizard and the unsightly terrarinariranium.

This evening, whilst going through my nightly ritual, locking up and turning off lights, I noticed I didn't see him breathing. Well, that was nothing new, as when in hibernation, he'd frequently take shallow breaths few and far between. But his eyes were half-open, just barely cracked, and he'd never do that, unless to curse you for interrupting his beauty sleep. And so, I decided to do my scientific "Is he dead yet?" test perfected in years past. I tapped on the glass. Nothing. I blew into the cage. No flinching. I stared at him for a full minute. No sign of breathing.

I call out to my DH, "Hey, I think your lizard is dead."

"Really?" he asks, moseying over to the terranthimum. "'Bout time."

I arch my brow.

DH looks at me. "Now we can put this thing on Craig's List and finally be rid of it."
(not the dead lizard, the CAGE, you nutty people)

Do I feel bad about not mourning the loss of a critter we've had for eight years? Not really. I never would have chosen a lizard for a pet, and I still wouldn't. Not because I think lizards or snakes are "gross" or "creepy", but because you can't really snuggle with a bearded dragon. Perhaps some people do, but they's crazy folk. And because of that, I never "bonded" with the thing. It was just one more mouth to feed, really.

All of this brings me to this moment, at 1:25am in the morning, blogging on Becka's Babble. Why am I blogging at this time of night? Well, because I wanted to get rid of the lizard before the kids wake up. Don't want to deal with "clean up reptile corpse on aisle 5" in the morning. Besides, just having it laying there waiting for me to dig it out of the terraminium is kinda nasty/creepy. I literally went to bed, then got up to take care of it. Icky icky icky pe-tang!

Now, I will quietly remove any mention of "Lizard" from my bios that are in the back of my books (only upcoming books, not ones already released). As of this moment, we only have one dog and one cat. If anyone ever has half a mind to give us another lizard again, better check your pockets and purses, because that shit's goin' home with you!


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pampered Chef

Today, I went to an awesome Pampered Chef party held by the sister of a friend of mine (who's also a friend of mine.) I was excited to go. I've only ever been to a Pampered Chef party once, about a DECADE ago. Yeah, it was nice to attend the party this time, seen as how I had the money to buy something this time around.

Becka + ten years ago = broke-ass ho

Becka + now = not so much

Why was I so excited? Well, because of those round pizza stones. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. I wanted one so badly, because you don't have to just make pizza on them. They're good for cookies, rolls, scones, calzones, appetizers, anything you really want to bake on a cookie sheet. It gives you even browning and crisping. I've wanted one forEVER and now, I finally had my chance to buy one.

Now, once I get to the party, I'm overjoyed to find out that they now have a new pizza stone - one with handles on the side, for easier lifting out of the oven. SOLD!

Yes, I bought it and I'm giddy, GIDDY I tell you, to finally own one. Apparently, you cannot wash them with soap. Like a cast iron skillet, you merely rinse and scrape off the debris and allow the food to season your stone.

Imagine my dismay when I open the catelog only to find TWO FULL FRICKEN' PAGES of stoneware cook ... ware? I wanted it all! Problem was, each item was over $25. If I was say, independently wealthy, then yeah, I woulda gotten every damn thing in the book. lol But as it was, I had to stare at the stoneware muffin pan, the stoneware casserole, the stoneware breadpan, the stoneware mini-loaf breadpan, the stoneware large bar pan (for making bar cookies and brownies, etc.), the stoneware bundt pan (OMG, I wanted this one sooo badly!).


I now have a new purpose in life: I must replace every last casserole dish and cookie sheet, breadpan, pie plate, and covered baking dish with stoneware. I have been assimilated.

For me, who's only just begun to realize that I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally love baking, finding that the Pampered Chef stoneware line goes far, far beyond the pizza stone was like finding the Holy Grail, if you will. And so, on that note, I promptly scheduled a Pampered Chef party of my very own. At least then, I will get a fixed percentage off of the stoneware, and I will be able to reward myself with more stoneware cookware in the future.

Because I will own it all, oh yes. Fear not. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but someday. Blessed someday.

Oh yeah, and I also bought a pizza cutter (because who doesn't own a pizza cutter, honestly? Apparently me, before today lol) and one of their 2 quart mixing bowls that has a pour spout and a lid, the one you can refrigerate, microwave AND bake in. Yeah, I like options. Actually, I like the idea of mixing pancake batter and/or cornbread batter and merely pouring it into (or onto) whatever I want to cook it (them) in (or on). :)

This may come as a shock, I know, but I believe I'm getting the beginnings of carpal tunnel. :( Therefore, whenever I mix something by hand in my mixing bowls, it is very hard for me to hold them up to pour into a prepared pan. Holding a mixing bowl that has a handle and a spout just made my life a bajillion times easier. :) Yay!

The lady who showed off all the goods told us we should get our swag before Thanksgiving. I'm VERY happy about that. Gonna be watching out for the sexy FedEx guy now. Yet another thrill to look forward to! Yeehaw!


Friday, November 09, 2007

Becka's Hottie of the Week

Yup, it's "that time" again. I thought and thought who could possibly be my hottie this week? Didn't do too much TV watching, other than watch shows I've already featured Hotties on. LOL So this week, I turned to music. By now, it's pretty obvious I listen mostly to Christian music. I'm sure you know I've featured Chris Tomlin and Michael W. Smith as two of my previous Hotties. Welp, I've got another obsession. :P Who is he? Mr. Lincoln Brewster.

This guy sings such great songs! In fact, you can hear some of them yourself if you visit his MySpace page. All the songs featured are favorites of mine. He's frequently played on the radio station I listen to, 104.1 The Fish here in Portland.

Isn't he a cutie?? :) He's 36, and I love his voice. His energy is amazing as well. In fact, I'm not one to really go for live albums, but I believe his live album, "All To You...Live" is one of his best. I LOVE the songs "You Are Good" and "Majestic".

If you don't mind listening to songs about GOD, give Lincoln a try. You might realise you've already sung one of his songs in church. The non-denominational churches, such as Calvary Chapel, love to sing Lincoln's songs along with Chris Tomlin's songs, during their worship music, before the sermons. :)

Congratulations, Lincoln Brewster. You're Becka's Hottie of the Week!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Won a Gather Writing Prompt

Heh, nothing to write home about, but I thought I would blog about this. LOL I won a writing prompt (along with two other "contestants") on . Totally unofficial, held by just a member to flex your writing muscle. I hadn't actually done a writing prompt in forever and a day, but since two successful novellas of mine were borne of writing prompts of Christmas past (ON EAGLE'S WINGS & UNDERNEATH THE MISTLETOE), I thought I would give it a shot. There's nothing "special" for the win, just fortune and glory. *g*

Here's my winning entry. The prompt was 200 words MAX, the subject was "Tears & Yellow Cake". The sky was the limit in theme, so of course, I did historical western. :P


"It's the least I can do, Nate." Marybeth placed a thick slice of yellow cake on the table in front of the handsome Texas Ranger.

"It was nothin' ma'am," he drawled, taking a bite. "Any man woulda done the same. Wasn't about to leave a pretty little thing like you on the side of the road after bein' thrown by her horse."

Marybeth blushed hotly at the memory of his hands as he'd examined her body shortly thereafter, making sure nothing was broken. After all the tears she'd cried when her husband left, Marybeth never thought she'd feel this way about a man again. Nate's blue eyes twinkled at her as he finished his cake. His mouth lifted into an alluring grin as the silence stretched on.

"I…I just don't know how to ride very well, is all," she said past the lump in her throat.

"Need some lessons, sugar?" Nate stood and winked. His tone made her wonder if he was still talking about horses.


Nate dusted off his hat and plopped it on her head. "Return it. Tomorrow night, eight p.m. You know the Goldrush Inn?"


His smile stopped her heart. "I'll be there."


I only felt slightly guilty entering the prompt at all amongst unpublished authors. :P But it was fun to just write a small scene with no story surrounding it.


This Week on "Becka's All Talk..."

On this week's episode of "Becka's All Talk", watch as the writer cringes whenever NaNoWriMo is mentioned, quipping, "NaNoWHATmo?" Marvel as Becka finally admits she has more on her plate than she wants you to believe, and gasp in horror as Becka breaks book deadlines left and right.

See for yourself what everyone is talking about. You do NOT want to miss it.

Becka's All Talk, tonight on FOX. Check your local listings.


Gah, ever feel like you're life is under a microscope? Or at least, your work. No matter what you do, you'll never please all the people all the time. This year, I've had a heck of a time juggling writing with my personal life, and wouldn't you know it, 2007 has turned out to be my busiest year as an author to date.

Murphy's Law #5,671: Success will wait for your personal life to go insane before finally taking effect.

Let this be a lesson to all you aspiring authors. Write one book at a time. That's all you can do anyway. Otherwise, you risk becoming like me, tearing your hair out because there's no way in hell you can clean toilets, do laundry, plan dinner, do karate, promote and write all at the same time. I do have four kids, but they're young yet, 8, 7, 6, & 4, so the amount of chores they can do is weighed against exactly how well they can do them. They do their own laundry from start to finish, so that's a BIG bonus. They help out as much as they can, because they love helping out. They're good kids.

But regarding the topic of this post... Yeah, I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. Ain't no way unless I suddenly chucked homeschooling out the window along with chores, errands, and family time (and that ain't happenin'). And missing one deadline early on this year (in April) acted like a domino effect for all my other projects. Now, I'm racing to finish two books before the end of the year (The Vampire Oracle: TOMB and ONCE A DREAMER) and I'm feeling the burn. Good news is, I have 11K out of 15K on TOMB, so I'm in the home stretch.

Wish me luck, folks, I'm going in.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Jareth Moreland's story of redemption has been a long time coming. Years. Literally. Well, your wait is over. HEARTS UNBOUND is available TODAY! Go out and buy yourself a copy, kick back, and enjoy!


Monday, November 05, 2007

Canning, Preserving, and Getting Old

The book pictured above has got to be one of THE BEST canning books I've ever taken the time to crack open. If you've ever wondered how to can, or wanted some great new recipes or things to can, get this book. A friend of mine bought this for me for my birthday, and it's one of the best gifts I received. In fact, DH made fun of me once because I was reading through it like a novel. Literally every word on every page.

For whatever reason, the idea of canning and preserving fascinates me. Probably for the "you can do that?!" factor. The idea of having food you made yourself tucked away for a rainy day or for gift ideas makes me giddy. I'm sure a lot of it stems from the fact that my children eat PB&J on a daily basis. I mix things up a bit here and there, but for the most part, I'm darn thankful none of my spawn have a peanut allergy. So making my own jam appeals to me, because my family goes through it by the bucketload.

Especially now, when I've been trying to back off cereal every morning for my kids' breakfast, as an 8oz box costs like $5.00 now, and if you're lucky, you can find a gallon of milk for under $3.00. Family of four, 365 mornings a year - you do the math. GACK! So I've been playing with other breakfast foods, from toast to English muffins to Eggo waffles to oatmeal, instant AND old skool. Problem is, most all of the above takes - you guessed it - jam.

You see, my DH hates the corn syrupy...syrup. He must have pure maple syrup. Problem is, I gotta sell a kidney on the black market to buy a big jug of it. Ain't no way I can afford to let the kids slop on the "good stuff" for their Eggos every morning. And I simply cannot justify buying Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworths, not necessarily due to my husband's severe aversion, but to horrid flashbacks of my own childhood. LOL Not a pretty sight. Where was I? Oh yes. So the kids put jam on their waffles along with their toast and muffins. Not so much in the oatmeal, however, I don't think that would suck...

My point is, being able to make my own jam kicks @$$. And not just any ol' "jam". Strawberry*blah* *grape*blah*... I found this awesome recipe in the book pictured above for something called "Bumbleberry Jam", a mix of strawberry, raspberry, & blueberry, which I'm going to make this week. I'll let you know if it's any good. It even says you can make jam with frozen fruit, not just strictly fresh fruit, like your grandma would like you to think. Probably doesn't taste freshly picked off the tree and/or vine, but WTH, it's going into winter, folks, and my canning craze didn't end on the last day of summer.

Top this all off with the fact that I now desperately want a food dehydrator for Christmas. One of our friends came over with a bag of homemade jerky and Oh. My. Gawd. That stuff was the shizzy! And just think of everything you could do besides jerky, you could dry your own fruits and have healthy fruit chips or raisins or any ol' thing you could dry out and eat! :P

I think a lot of this "do it yourself" mentality comes from wanting to save some money as well. I mean, a lot of this stuff is infinitely cheaper than the grocery store-bought items, especially any jerky you might make. The meat alone you can buy in the meat department and have umpteen batches for what you pay for one bag of jerky. What are they, like $6.99 these days? Not to mention how expensive are banana chips? Like $3.50 a bag that holds "maybe" three bananas worth of chips? I can get like two or three bunches of bananas for that price. Probably even cheaper if I go to Costco.

And before I end this post, I've just gotta say that my hands are killing me. Literally. I'm dying. They've been hurting since yesterday, along with a few aches and pains in the joint areas I've hurt over the years. Especially the arch of my left foot. What's up with that? I don't think I ever injured that foot... lol But my hands, dear Gawd... In another 33 years, my body is going to HATE me. *sob* There's no doubt in my mind I'm going to get carpal tunnel and arthritis.

Better write all my books NOW, while I still can. lol


Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Long Wait is Over

That's right, folks, B*E*A*S*T* OF BURDEN is coming to PRINT. When? On or around November 30th. But don't be grumpy about having to wait a few more weeks. Go ahead and PRE-ORDER your copy today! :) Just in time for Christmas!

Remember yummy Rogan Wolfe?

Mmm, how can we forget?? :) If you've read THE B*E*A*S*T* WITHIN, Noah's book, you do NOT want to miss Rogan's story, Book II of my BEAST series. And with Wade's story, NATURE OF THE B*E*A*S*T* right around the corner, you might want to pick yourself up a copy, especially when this book has a SNEAK PEEK of Wade's entire first chapter!

And on top of it all, Champagne Books has re-released SINCERELY YOURS, my WWII love letter novella that went out of print at By Grace Publishing. If you never read that one, you can purchase it for $1.00.

Check out the pretty new cover! :D


Friday, November 02, 2007

Becka's Hottie of the Week

I thought today, how can I combine my Hottie of the Week with the kick-ass concert I went to last night?? Didn't take me too long to put 2+2 together, as it was pretty much a nobrainer. First of all, I gotta tell you who I saw in concert. DH and I (and friends) saw Finnish rock band NIGHTWISH at the Roseland Theater in downtown Portland, Nov. 1st. So who's my Hottie? Mr. Tuomas Holopainen.

If you don't know this band, you obviously never watched my book videos for my Legends of Mynos series. Let me refresh your memory:

Legends of Mynos Video

The Crystal of Mynos

The Wolverine and the Rose

The Wolverine and the Jewel

The Wolverine and the Flame

Pretty much Nightwish IS the soundtrack of Lyndaria. :P In fact, IF they ever make a movie from my books (luckychickenluckychickenboomboomboom), I will personally request Nightwish either A.) writes the soundtrack or B.) writes the song they play during the end credits. I just LOVE these guys to death.

Okay, so you might be wondering who this Tuomas guy is. Well, he's the one who put the band together, and he's also the keyboardist.

I'd never actually gotten an idea of what this guy looks like until I saw him in person at the concert. He's (*singsong*) haaaawt! And let's talk about his skill with the keyboards. Wow. WOW. He wails. The coolest thing about this guy during the concert? The "rock stance" he took whilst playing said keyboards. LOL THAT was awesome.

As we all know, the band recently got rid of their previous lead singer, the opera-trained diva you hear on the songs I'd used for my Legends of Mynos vid. However, the lady they've gotten to replace her, Anette Olzon, is BETTER. True, Nightwish "loses" some of that operatic sound (is *operatic* a word?), BUT, Anette is a better singer. She's got more stage presence and the show isn't about HER. She sang some of their older songs and rocked them, putting her own spin on them. In fact, DH and I hope and pray Nightwish re-records some older stuff with Anette at the helm. Of course, they probably won't, but it would still be cool if they did. Anette definately has the pipes to keep up with this driving rock band and she was the perfect choice for new lead vocalist, as you can hear here:

Anette rulez

Of course that sample doesn't give you a good idea of her range, which is fantastic. She's a breath of fresh air for the band, who was suffereing a bit, I believe, from over-dramatacism (is that a word? lol)

Anyhow, I LOVED the concert, and if Nightwish comes to your town, GO SEE THEM!! You won't regret it.

Oh, and congratulations, Tuomas Holopainen. You're Becka's Hottie of the Week!


(Tuomas is pictured above with new lead singer, Anette Olzon)
((to see awesome pics of the concert, visit my DH's gamer geek forums at